A-Rod continues to ruin everything

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Remember when Bill Madden of the Daily News said Alex Rodriguez “will never play another game for the Yankees?” That he had what the Daily News headlined as “an evil plan” to “claim he was physically unable to perform” and collect insurance money?

Subway Squawkers does, and today catalogs all of the ways in which Madden got the A-Rod story wrong over the past few months. Sorry: how Spink Award winner Bill Madden got the A-Rod story wrong.

The best part: Squawkers notes that now that the Yankees are winning and A-Rod is showing that he is quite capable of physical performance, Madden has gone curiously silent on the guy, underplaying his role in the Yankees’ recent surge.

Reporters hate it when individual games twist right at the end, ruining the story they’ve been working on and making them rewrite before deadline.  I guess that happens with the longer-term storylines as well. 

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.